As a rather "conservative" artist, the first time my daughter talked about "Burning Man", I had the image of a whole bunch of Hippie type, nudists running around in the desert, doing drugs. Well, even though a very small group might participate in this, Burning Man has involved into so much more and I in turn have learned to respect the amount of creativity displayed by many of the attendees.
When I think about being in the middle of the desert, having to be self sufficient for several days in the scorching sun, with non of the "modern" amenities around and having to be creative on top of it, just seems impossible. Yet according to the Burning Man site
last year 35,500 people attended the event. To get around you need some sort of transportation, which in many cases starts with very decked out bicycles and evolves into ...
"Art Cars" - uniquely crafted vehicles, ranging from a bed on wheels to something that looks like a cross between a 19th century locomotive and a tank or even a delicate looking lotus flower.
People live in tents, RV's anything that might provide some shelter from sand storms and the sun. These shelters are also often elaborately decorated.
My favorite of course are the "Art Installations". The displays are meant to be interactive. Yes, unlike the work in museums, the artists invite you to experience the work by touching it, evoking sounds from it or simply by lying under it.
I envy these people, who can shed all preconceptions and give themselves up to the elements. There seems to be a certain Nirvana, a state of primal existence that allows the mind to experience a rather foreign visual, sensory and tactile overload, which in turn spurs the participants creativity.
Maybe one of these days, I'll muster enough courage to go?!
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